Summer Reading Camp: Recommendations, Recreations & Recipes

Hello Campers! Summer is all about having fun, and at HPB Summer Reading Camp that means reading, completing activities and eating!  There are so many wonderful books, fascinating activities and scrumptious camp foods that we decided to combine them all to help you get the most out of your Summer Reading Camp experience.

First thing to do at Summer Reading Camp is get the lay of the land by checking out the campgrounds. Use your eagle eyes on our Spot the Differences activity sheet and then go for a walk of your own. Make sure to grab some Walking Tacos so you don’t get hungry and earn your “Read While Walking” badge by checking out some great books like:

Walking Tacos Recipe


  • 1 lb. ground beef and ½ onion diced
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • Corn chips in individual bags
  • Optional toppings: diced tomato, diced onion, diced avocado, salsa, shredded cheese, sliced black olives, sour cream
  1. Brown the hamburger in a large skillet, along with the onion, until fully cooked and crumbly. Drain the fat and return skillet to stove top. Add the taco seasoning and ¼ cup of water. Stir until moistened and adequately seasoned.
  2. Serve the taco meat with the bags of chips and all the taco toppings and let your little campers assemble their own tacos inside the chip bags.

Next, search out the best things to do at camp. Speaking of the best, you can chow down on the best hot dogs in town (why do they call them hot dogs anyway?). While you are pondering that mystery, you can discover the mystery of what BW is drawing by solving one of our Dot-to-Dots or creating artwork of your own to earn your “Make Some Art” badge, or search for some words in our Summer Reading Camp Word Search to earn your “Do a Word Search” badge. Speaking of mysteries, you can earn your “Read a Mystery” badge with one of these great books:

Hot Dog Recipes


  • 1 package of hot dogs
  • 1 package of hot dog buns
  • Optional toppings:
    • Mexican-style: diced onion, diced tomato, chopped cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce
    • Classic-style: shredded cheddar, ketchup, mustard, dill relish, beef chili
    • Italian-style: shredded mozzarella, pizza sauce, pepperonis
  1. Cook the hot dogs in boiling water or slice them down the middle and microwave for one minute (if you use the microwave, put the hot dog in the bun and wrap it up in a paper towel before cooking.)
  2. Let your little campers assemble their own hot dogs the way they like them.

Now that you have the lay of the land and you’ve scoped out the best things to do, it’s time to get busy and get involved. Do our Summer Reading Camp Maze and help BW find the lost camper. Grab yourself some trail mix or (if you’re messy, like me) some “worms and dirt” and earn a badge like “Visit a Library” or “Visit a Book Store.” Maybe you can come home with some great books like these:

Simple Trail Mix Recipe


  • 1 cup Cheerios (honey nut, plain or apple cinnamon usually work)
  • 1 cup goldfish crackers
  • 1 cup cherry-flavored dried cranberries (or another favorite dried fruit)
  • 1 cup cashews (or another favorite nut)
  • 1 cup miniature M&Ms (or other chocolate candy)
  • 1 cup peanut butter or butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup miniature pretzel twists, sticks or butter snaps
  1. Throw all ingredients together in a sealed gallon baggie (or two) and allow child to shake it up in order to mix the ingredients.
  2. Store in a cool, dry area

*For a healthier mix substitute the chocolate and peanut butter chips with items like shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins or shredded coconut.

Worms and Dirt Recipe


  • 1 (4 oz.) package of chocolate instant pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 package Oreos, crushed to crumbs in a food processor
  • Gummy Worms
  • 10 (8 oz.) Plastic cups
  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to the directions on the packet.
  2. Gently fold the whipped topping into the pudding until it’s thoroughly mixed.
  3. Put about 1-1 ½ tablespoons of crushed Oreos into the bottom of each cup, then add about 2 tablespoons to pudding to each cup.
  4. Repeat layering the Oreos and pudding, ending with the third Oreo layer.
  5. Finish by adding 2 gummy worms to the top of each cup.
  6. Put cups in the fridge for about an hour to chill.

Don’t forget to keep track of the minutes you’re reading, and enter them into our online reading log at the end of June to receive a reading reward.  Need help keeping track of your reading minutes? Download a Reading Log from our activities page, and keep going back for our “Activity of the Week.”

Have a wonderful summer, campers! And happy reading!